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Five reasons to celebrate

Christchurch’s Green Therapy struck gold not once, not twice but five times as it walked away with the title of Landscaper of the Year, the Premier Environmental and Horticulture awards and two gold awards

Green Therapy picked up its plethora of awards thanks to the work it did on luxury accommodation site Bob’s Cove Retreat at Lake Wakatipu, Otago.

“We were really surprised to pick up three Landscapes of Distinction Awards,” says director Bryce Coulter. “We'd hoped to win a few medals so it was brilliant to come away with more. However, we couldn't have done it without our partners on the job.”

With a strong connection to the wider environment, Bob’s Cove Retreat sits alongside Lake Whakatipu and is perched on a sloping site that comprises different soil types, shifting water courses and hosts animal and plant pest species. It’s safe to say the judges were highly impressed.

“A strong affiliation between the landscape project and its wider context has been achieved through a clear direction from the start of this project with all the professional groups involved. This has been achieved through a robust sense of design intent that has amalgamated each stage of the project into something coherent and unique.”

Additionally, many of the natives planted on site were eco-sourced seeds from the local area, mulch was gathered from wind-felled trees and cut-down species were left on site to rot.

“Everyone was really passionate and worked together, we couldn’t have done it without collaboration between industry professionals,” added Bryce.

Environmental concerns

Green Therapy also struck gold with the Environmental Premier Award. “What defines a good environmental landscape? Bob’s Cove Retreat demonstrates essential characteristics very clearly,” said the judges.

“This project displays superb communication between all the groups involved in the development of the site, from architect to landscape architect (Megan Wraight), the client and Green Therapy, to create a superb retreat with an important ecological contribution to its wider environment – an exemplar for our industry.”

Strong environmental practices were employed throughout the project, such as reuse of onsite resources, eco-sourcing and pest control that extended to surrounding Department of Conservation land, helping provide a more varied habitat with wildlife benefits in mind.

Alongside that, Green Therapy used biodegradable woollen weed mat mulch, natural rabbit deterrents and educated the owners on plant identification and best practice removal techniques.

“Being eco-friend was at the heart of the project and I was really pleased that the judges struggled to distinguised where the DOC reserve ended and the house started.”

Inspired planting

Despite the site being a difficult place for plant establishment due to the water channels coming off neighbouring sites, Green Therapy managed to create “a sense of playfulness” through its use of Chionochloa, Astelia, Red beech, Mountain beech, Manuka and Cabbage trees.

“We've got four diffferent terrain types so picking the right plants was critical to the success of the project. Using locally sourced plants made a massive difference."

The judges called the placement of the soft tussock grasses “a masterstroke” due to the way they appear to lap at a person’s feet while standing in the lounge and looking through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

During the development of the project, Bryce was also able to turn a non-gardener into a green-thumbed fanatic.

“In this development process, the client has become an eco-warrior, with a great desire to continue the pest weed clean up on the adjoining DOC land.

“He has become so invested in the garden and its connection to the wider landscape around it, that he is determined that the surrounding DOC land and river edges will also be cleared of the many exotic weeds.”

Green Therapy also undertook several site visits a year to make sure the landscape was developing as the design brief intended it to.

“As the site is so dynamic, we wouldn't have the result we had today without regular contact with the site.”


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